By Sarah Freeman
Anyone looking for an antidote to the onslaught of bad news is unlikely to find it in the latest report from the Marine Conservation Society.
While recent weeks have seen the world preoccupied by the global banking disaster and desperately unpredictable share prices, British seas are facing an equally precarious time as we pay the price for years of over-fishing and unregulated pollution.
After 25 years of quiet campaigning and gentle persuasion, the MCS last night launched its Silent Seas report in the hope the shocking statistics will finally jolt the powers-that-be into action and force the inclusion of a Marine Bill in the next Queen's Speech.
"Put simply, too many fish are taken from the sea, too much rubbish is thrown into the sea and too little is done to protect previous marine life and habits," says Dr Simon Brockington, the organisation's head of conservation.
"In the next few years, we're going to start seeing the effects of climate change; the first effects are already there, such as migration of fish and plankton types. Unless we build a healthy ecosystem, the impacts of climate change will be far worse. Inaction is not an option."